Hawaiʻi Region

Statewide Policy

Make Your Voice Heard

Our elected officials need to hear from you! Engaging your elected officials is one of the most important ways that you can help protect the coastlines of Hawaiʻi. The 2023 statewide legislative session will begin in January. Sign up below to receive action alerts and policy updates. Learn more about how to testify and make your voice heard.

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Clean Water

Surfrider’s Clean Water Initiative strives to protect water quality in local waterways and reduce ocean pollution so it is safe to surf, swim, and play in the ocean.

Our priority, statewide bills for 2023 focus on four main goals:

1. Improve Testing & Public Notification at Hawaii Beaches (Region wide) – The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) runs a beach monitoring program and issues advisories when bacteria levels exceed the health standard. Our policy priorities for 2021 focus on improving water quality monitoring across the state, updating the tiering/prioritization of monitored beaches to be more equitable (and not concentrated in resort areas), and continuing regular beach monitoring schedule when Brown Water Alerts are issued.

2. Support coastal preservation and policies that ensure long term protection of our sandy beaches. In particular, our efforts are focused on bills that limit emergency shoreline hardening permits, support managed retreat and moving away from the shoreline, and promote climate change/sea level rise considerations throughout state and county agencies.

3. Reduce single-use plastic consumer items and encourage holistic waste management laws, policies and actions.

4. Green Constitutional Amendment – secure for all people the Constitutional recognition and protection of their inalienable rights to pure water, clean air, and healthy ecosystems including climate

5. Statewide Visitor Green Fee – Establishes within the Department of Land and Natural Resources a visitor green fee program to collect a fee to allow visitors to visit a state park, beach, state-owned forest, hiking trail, or other state-owned natural area. Establishes the environmental legacy commission to allocate the revenues from the visitor green to protect and manage Hawaii’s natural resources.